Distinct roles in lymphoid organogenesis for lymphotoxins alpha and beta revealed in lymphotoxin beta-deficient mice

Immunity. 1997 Apr;6(4):491-500. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80292-7.


Lymphotoxin alpha (LT alpha)-deficient mice revealed critical roles for LT alpha in lymphoid organogenesis, but it is not clear whether LT alpha functions through an LT alpha homotrimer (LT alpha3) or LT alpha/beta heterotrimers. We generated LTbeta-deficient mice and found them to lack Peyer's patches, peripheral lymph nodes, splenic germinal centers, and follicular dendritic cells. Unlike LT alpha-deficient mice, LT beta-deficient mice had cervical and mesenteric lymph nodes. Furthermore, the mesenteric lymph nodes had germinal center-like regions, although these structures appeared to lack follicular dendritic cells. The absence of cervical and mesenteric lymph nodes in LT alpha-deficient mice, and yet their presence in LT beta-deficient mice and in mice deficient in tumor necrosis factor receptor types I and II, suggest that LT alpha3 may signal via an as yet unidentified receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / immunology
  • Female
  • Germinal Center / chemistry
  • Germinal Center / pathology
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphoid Tissue / embryology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / genetics*
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / physiology*
  • Lymphotoxin-beta
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Ltb protein, mouse
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Lymphotoxin-beta
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha